Two Naperville college students were among the eight people who died Friday night at Houston’s Astroworld music festival when tens of thousands of people rushed toward the stage, causing a stampede.
Jacob “Jake” Jurinek, 20 and Franco Patino, 21, Naperville natives and graduates of Neuqua Valley High School, were close friends though they attended different colleges. Jurinek was studying advertising and journalism at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Patino was a senior at the University of Dayton Patino, where he majored in mechanical engineering technology and minored in human movement biomechanics.
According to police, both men were in a crowd that began to gather at approximately 9 p.m. for a performance by musician Travis Scott. Concertgoers pushed toward the front of the stage prior to the start of the show, leading to panic and injuries, police said. The situation continued to escalate for about 40 minutes., when a “mass casualty incident” was triggered, according to Houston Fire Chief Samuel Peña.
The victims ranged in age from 14 to 27, according to authorities. An estimated 50,000 people were expected to attend the sold-out, two-day festival, but the second day was canceled after the tragedy.
Officials took 17 people to hospitals, including 11 who were in cardiac arrest, Peña said. It wasn’t clear whether all eight who died were among the 17 that had been transported. Many people were also treated at the scene at NRG Park, where a field hospital had been set up.
Smith LaCien LLP is a personal injury law firm concentrating in catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and aviation and medical malpractice cases. Founding partners Todd A. Smith and Brian LaCien have more than 60 years of combined experience as trial lawyers. Smith and LaCien have a lengthy track record of achieving exceptional results for clients, with more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements, and over 100 cases with results of at least $1 million.